Jacqui Bree currently resides in Mataura, Southland with her husband and five year old daughter. A full-time mother to a young daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder means that the freedom of Southern Institute of Technology (SIT)’s SIT2LRN distance learning was perfect for Jacqui to fit study around her busy schedule of doctors, appointments, speech and language lessons, sickness, surgeries and pre-schools.
Despite the hectic nature of her day-to-day, Jacqui says she never felt overwhelmed. “I found it extremely manageable. The coursework is broken down week to week with clear, concise feedback. I always knew what I needed to do and the more technical aspects, or things I really needed further assistance with, the facilitator either pointed me in the correct direction online or was very clear on what I needed to do.”
Studying the Diploma in Digital Film, Jacqui discovered the course when her husband was searching for IT courses and stumbled upon it. Having a background in theatre, productions and amateur films, once Jacqui encountered SIT’s Diploma in Digital Film, it provided her with the potential to gain the skills necessary to help her break into the film industry, as well as the freedom to do it all from home, part-time, while looking after her daughter.
Not content with just finishing the course, Jacqui has also entered film competitions such as the international 60-hour film festival in the United Kingdom. A massive competition with over 800 entrants, Jacqui entered with a short film she wrote, shot, directed and edited, and has also completed a feature-length film script, entering it into a competition called Script Pipeline in the United States. While not placing in Script Pipeline, Jacqui is very pleased with the priceless feedback she gained from professionals working in America. Another short film she wrote is currently in production in the U.K. with an online production company, and you get the feeling that Jacqui is just getting started!
“SIT has opened the doors to these opportunities as I have the skills to get noticed and get my work made.”
Jacqui is confident in her future in filmmaking. “Studying at SIT has made me believe in myself and my ability to get things done. I really now believe that I have a future in this field and have a unique voice to share stories. Being able to take criticism and have it elevate my work was a game changer and huge thanks to the facilitators for that”.
On completion of the Diploma in Digital Film, Jacqui made the decision to take up full-time study in the Bachelor of Screen Arts, wanting to connect with other filmmakers and continue to hone her craft.
“Filmmaking is not a solo experience and I am so looking forward to that next step. Once that is completed, I am looking to continue writing, selling my work, making films and taking each opportunity that comes my way in writing, directing and producing. This will be a lifelong journey for me.”
Having gained great base skills from the diploma, Jacqui felt confident entering into the degree and is loving working with students and staff who have the same passionate work ethic.
“I am loving being on set, finding what makes my heart tick, truly making me realise that this is my calling.”
Currently working on school projects and looking at entering competitions this year such as the 40 hour film festival, Jacqui is also still working on scripts for script writing challenges.
“It’s funny how life skills such as organisation from being a mum have really come in handy!”
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